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Old July 26th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

I've got a shoot tonight where I'm capturing someone being pulled over by a state trooper, given a sobriety test, and put in the back of a patrol car. It will take place a night (or maybe dusk) with only the lights of the patrol car and my on-camera light. What would be a better camera for this?

Sony PMW-EX3 shooting 1080 30p? (maybe with the gain at +3?)
Canon 5D Mark II shooting at 1250 iso? (I don't want to go much higher as it gets real noisy)

Which is more sensitive to light? I do like the cinematic look of the 5DM2 in the daytime, but I've never compared them at night.

Thanks in advance. :)
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Old July 26th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

What lens/lenses on the 5D?
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Old July 26th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Another thread on a similar topic wrt EX3 and police cars
Doing a Police 'Ride Along'

I have an EX1 and a 5DM2 with a 50mm f1.4. Personally, I would find it very hard to get critical focus with the 5DM2 in such a run and gun environment. But shots inside the car it may be real good and not need much rigging.... but then there's audio......
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Old July 26th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Sorry, forgot some critical details.

This is for a television commercial for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation company.

We'll be using a 70-200mm f/2.8 and 16-35mm f/2.8. I will have total control of the scene and will be shooting mostly from tripod. It's a dramatization, so focusing should be doable. Also, I don't need any audio.

I'm leaning toward using the EX3 just because it will be easier.

I just wonder which would be more sensitive to light (less grainy).
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Old July 27th, 2011, 04:02 AM   #5
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Go out tonight and try both on a dummy run

Ooops, just read the shoot is tonight. Take both cameras, but I would be inclined to shoot with the Canon and 16 35mm lens
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #6
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Thanks for everyone' s help. Ended up using the EX3. Footage came out good. Ended up treating it quite a bit. Wish I had time to try the EX3, but the state trooper only had 30 minutes to be in the shoot. Would have been interesting to see if the 5DM2 handled the blown out lights better.
It's just a local television commercial. Nothing special.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #7
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Very good night shots, what settings did you use?
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Old July 28th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #8
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Thanks. :)

1080 30p
No shutter
Picture Profile OFF (for some reason I've had the best luck shooting dark scenes with it off)
Gain at either -3, 0 or +3 depending on how dark it got

I think the key was to start shooting right after the sun went down. Then continue shooting as it got darker and darker. I also used a Lite Panels on-camera light for most of the shots. When the guy was sitting in the back seat we put the Lite Panels light in the car so it shined on his face a bit.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

Thanks.

I did some night time filming in Africa (camp fire) and my results were very noisy, I may have applied too much Gain.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: EX3 or 5D Mark II for Night Footage?

I see you shot during magic hour: that way you still had some light :-) (Good thinking!)

Use the 5D when you shoot at night.
Few months ago I shot a easter-thingy for fun with both shots at night and at day.
The nightshots are shot with a 5D.
On the EX1R with gain set at +18 the image was far more darker (and noisier) than the 5D.
I should post a blog about it: I recorded sound on the EX1R, so I can compare the 2.

Just to show the 5D footage (with a 1.4 lens), don't know the ISO precisely: the operator said he didn't want to go beyond ISO 800.
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